|Not a big chest-pounder, Mr. Jeff Blackard is largely under the radar locally. He’s probably best known for developing Adriatica in McKinney, whose centerpiece is the bell tower. The $350 million, 45-acre mixed-use project on Virginia Parkway and Stonebridge Drive is modeled after Supetar, a small fishing village on the island of Brač off the coast of Croatia. Looking out from Blackard’s perch at Adriatica, with its cobblestone streets, island chapel, and Old World architecture, it’s easy to imagine that you’re in another place and time.
NBC reports on a new Croatian village concept in McKinney, Texas.
Adriatica Croatian Village Mckinney, Texas, USA
This video explains Jeff Blackard's vision for bringing true village life back to America while sparking a "revival of community" within our borders.
Developer Jeff Blackard Wants to Save America, One Village at a Time
The unconventional office of real estate developer Jeff Blackard perfectly represents the spirit of its inhabitant. Situated at the top of a bell tower overlooking a small lake in McKinney, it’s accessible only after rotating around a large bookcase on the seventh floor to reveal a hidden spiral staircase, which leads to Blackard’s “nest.”
Tall and boyish-looking, the enigmatic CEO of Blackard Global Inc. leads what friends describe as a “Forrest Gump” life. He has met with world leaders, led mission trips down the Amazon in a boat he built, amassed a fortune through investments and real estate development, and counts Rick Santorum and Glenn Beck among his friends.
Not a big chest-pounder, Blackard is largely under the radar locally. He’s probably best known for developing Adriatica in McKinney, whose centerpiece is the bell tower. The $350 million, 45-acre mixed-use project on Virginia Parkway and Stonebridge Drive is modeled after Supetar, a small fishing village on the island of Brač off the coast of Croatia. Looking out from Blackard’s perch at Adriatica, with its cobblestone streets, island chapel, and Old World architecture, it’s easy to imagine that you’re in another place and time.
Though Blackard continues as a consultant on the project and still owns the bell tower and chapel, other builders have taken over Adriatica, which stalled when the Great Recession hit. These days, Blackard has bigger and better things on his mind—namely, Entrada.The 85-acre, $500 million development along State Highway 114 in Westlake will include an amphitheater, three hotels, townhomes and villas, and more than 1 million square feet of retail, restaurant, and office space. With approvals from Westlake in hand, dirt will begin turning on Entrada sometime this summer. Blackard is overseeing every design intricacy, down to the curve of the roads, “so people will really feel like they’re on a hillside in Spain.”
Entrada, he says, is his chance to fully implement “Neoretroism,” a development ideology that has become his life’s mission. He defines it as “a philosophy that advocates the recreation of Old World culture in a modern-day development environment through serving the needs of the village’s inhabitants.” Put another way, Blackard wants to combat what he calls legal segregation caused by zoning. He wants to bring back the spirit of a village you’d find in Europe or in pre-1900 America, where people of different strata are connected by a shared sense of community and where the uses of buildings evolve over time. “We are doing development wrong in this country, but there is a way to do it right,” he says. “This needs to be known by every city planner and every mayor in the United States. Somebody just needs to show them.”
Imagine yourself walking the cobblestone streets in the quaint village of Supetar, nestled on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. From the architecture of the buildings and landmark Bell Tower to the secluded island chapel and unique shops and flats, Adriatica embodies the spirit and lifestyle of Supetar. Designed to be a true working village, Adriatica brings all facets of life together and enhances our living experience. Adriatica is a 45-acre (18.2-hectares) development situated at Virginia Parkway and Stonebridge Dr, (Google Maps) in one of the fastest growing cities in America, McKinney, Texas.
Adriatica is a true village and a project unlike any other in the world. The goal is to create community that in a relatively short period of time replicates villages that have taken centuries to develop. The project involves not only proper architecture and visual design, but also expertise in culture and social interaction. Not just how to build, but how to arrange the pieces of daily life, from where we live and work, to where we shop and play. It all comes together to form a balanced way of life.
The construction looks simple, but is hardly so. Combining years of experience and thoughtful study of European culture, Adriatica weaves a true community perfectly balancing the needs and wants of it’s inhabitants. We have a property to fit your every need, Office and Commercial sites, Retail and Restaurant sites, Residential Properties, and more. It really must be seen to be believed.
Adriatica... "A place to be alive!" is a 12 minute promotional video detailing the Racreation, Residential, and
Retail aspects of one of the most talked about developments in recent American history.
Formated for CROWN by Darko Žubrinić
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